Communicating the Struggle Between Due Process and Public Safety. National Association of Counties, July 2012

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1 Communicating the Struggle Between Due Process and Public Safety National Association of Counties, July 2012

2 Public Support National Association of Counties (2009) American Probation and Parole Association (2010) American Jail Association (2011) American Council of Chief Defenders (2011) Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (2011) International Association of Chiefs of Police (2011) American Bar Association and American Civil Liberties Union (2011) National Sheriffs Association (2012) Forthcoming National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Conference of Chief Justices 2

3 Methodology Five focus groups: white, non-college educated women in Richmond, VA; mixed-gender African Americans in Richmond, VA; mixed-gender Latinos in Denver, CO; white, non-college educated men in Denver, CO; white, college-educated women in Denver, CO. Nationwide telephone survey of registered likely voters

4 Key Findings from Focus Group Familiarity with the Criminal Justice System The varying levels of knowledge did not appear to impact participants willingness to embrace bail reform. Risk assessment was well received/intuitive. Participants believed risk assessment should be used in determining the detention or release of defendants. Still a perception that cash bail is needed for appearance. Clear that risk assessment is popular vs. the current system.

5 Key Findings from Telephone Poll Using risk-based screening tools, supervision, and monitoring instead of cash bail bonds to determine whether defendants should be released from jail before trial is not a controversial proposition. Many believed it was part of the system now. Initial support for reform is broad and intense, traversing partisan, regional, racial, and other demographic lines. 53% strong supporters unusual for a subject with which most voters are admittedly unfamiliar.

6 Key Findings from Telephone Poll Several arguments in favor of reform act as powerful motivators, through the Maurice Clemmons story is by far the most compelling. Second most was cost differential between current system and reformed system Validators: judges, law enforcement officials, crime victims groups Opposition messages have little impact on support and barely register. Proponent first, then opposition

7 Flashpoints Top Tier Circled Crossed Out Question Pretrial detention costs American taxpayers $9 billion per year, or about $60 per person in jail per day. The cost of community-based monitoring of defendants awaiting trial ranges between $1.50 and just over $6 per day. Using these tools could save us at least $4 billion per year. In jurisdictions that use risk assessments and court supervision, the dangerous people are identified and held. Nearly all of those released make their court appearances and complete their release period without a new arrest

8 Flashpoints Top Tier Circle d Crosse d Out Questio n There are more people in jail who can t pay their bond than convicted criminals in jail. Your ability to pay should not determine if you can be released from jail. Hundreds of thousands who are held in jail because they can t pay bail are released later because their charges are dismissed or because the court sentenced them to probation. Once someone pays their bond, they are released without supervision or monitoring

9 Flashpoints Bottom Tier Circled Crosse d Out Question People who pay a bail bondsman do not get any of their money back even if they are acquitted, stay out of trouble, and come to court as required. Black defendants are less likely to be released than white defendants, and Latinos are more likely to be detained than are both white and Black suspects. State (Colorado) laws and practices allow bondsmen to avoid paying what they owe the court when their clients skip bail. If someone out on bond gets arrested for a new crime, their bondsman is not penalized but rather stands to make even more profit by getting them out of jail again

10 Flashpoints Bottom Tier Circled Crossed Out Question Bail bondsmen can revoke your bond and put you back into jail at any point in time, without any justification. When they do that they still keep their 10% fee. Nationally, 18% of people fail to appear when they have bond. Law enforcement officials have recently complained that new crimes are often committed in order to raise cash needed for bail bonds. Experts say there is no proven relationship between paying a bond and showing up for trial. The U.S. and the Philippines are the only nations that allow bail bonding for profit

11 Effective Test Ads

12 Ineffective Test Ads

13 Sheriff Stan Hilkey Mesa County, Colorado President, County Sheriffs of Colorado Member, Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice s Bail Subcommittee Co-Chair, Mesa County Policy Team, Evidence Based Decision Making Project y.us

14 Evidence-Based Decision Making in Local Criminal Justice Systems Initiative Research 2010 Site Selection & Technical Assistance Implementation One less offender. One less crime. One less victim.

15 The Framework Set of core principles to guide the work Focus on the key decision makers at the Individual level Agency level Justice system level Examination of the decision points in the system and explores the application of evidence

16 Based on Research + 4 Principles The professional judgment of criminal justice system decision makers is enhanced when informed by evidence-based knowledge. Every interaction within the criminal justice system offers an opportunity to contribute to harm reduction. Systems achieve better outcomes when they operate collaboratively at the individual, agency, and system levels. The criminal justice system will continually learn and improve when professionals make decisions based on the collection, analysis, and use of data and information

17 Key Decision Points Arrest Decisions Pretrial Status Decisions Charging Decisions Plea Decisions Local Institutional Release Decisions Local Institutional Intervention Decisions Sentencing Decisions Community Intervention Decisions Violation Response Decisions Discharge from Criminal Justice Intervention

18 Education and Engagement Strategy EBDM Mission Statement To keep Mesa County safe, to reduce recidivism, and to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible.

19 Communications Goals and Objectives Two year outreach and communications plan to outline internal and external stakeholder outreach, engagement and education. Educate and obtain buy-in from those involved in the process. Fully engage agency staff in EBDM, focusing specifically on agency managers and supervisors, including nongovernmental agencies (e.g. public and private defense bar).

20 Communications Goals and Objectives Engage staff and instill confidence about the changes we are making. Embed EBDM knowledge system-wide. Get community leaders on board (local and beyond). Carry out the external stakeholder communication strategy. Educate and engage in-state colleagues on EBDM. Share experiences with national colleagues.

21 Education and Engagement Strategy EBDM is based on decades of research in the criminal justice system. We want to use best practices and objective evidence that shows what works best for public safety. Research shows that punishment alone does not reduce repeat criminal behavior, and therefore doesn t make our community safer. We have to use additional proven techniques in addition to punishment to reduce recidivism and prevent crime.

22 Education and Engagement Strategy Using best practices will make our criminal justice system more effective and more efficient; ensuring the community is safe, while using our taxpayer dollars responsibly. EBDM s philosophy is based on the cycle of continuous improvement Mesa County has stepped up from day one to achieve a culture of sustainable research, data tracking, and state of the art process improvements so we are a stronger organization.

23 Education and Engagement Strategy Mesa County wants to achieve this culture to make Mesa County a safer community. If we can reduce recidivism we have less crime. The EBDM process is based on measurable change and success.

24 Education and Engagement Strategy The EBDM process will result in potential cost savings and the ability to prioritize or reallocate funds to the areas which drive the best results to reduce crime. Mesa County was selected because of the proven ability to collaborate with all stakeholders and break down silos, because of a genuine interest in making sustainable, fundamental improvements for the community, and for the willingness to challenge long held assumptions in the criminal justice arena.

25 Internal Stakeholders 2012 Private Defense Attorneys Public Defenders Criminal Justice Services Probation MC Criminal Justice System DA s Office Judges Sheriff s Office Parole and DOC Other LEAs

26 External Stakeholders 2013 Defendants/ Offenders Community Leaders Local Media Housing and Employment Agencies Mental Health/ Substance Abuse Agencies General Public State and National Stakeholders Statewide and National Media Local Elected Officials Government Agency Heads Victims

27 Keeping Track. Audiences Reached Type Numbers Outreach Methods Formal Training Community Meeting Service Clubs Radio/TV/Published Media Resources Used Staff Technology

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